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North Korea reinterpreted on instant film

A joint exhibition by photographer Chris Barrett and researcher Gianluca Spezza

Under Kim Jong Un’s leadership, North Korea has made a conscious decision to be more proactive in the media world. In 2013 we saw the very first live tweeted image of the North Korean leader, from mainstream Western media.

Icons of Rhetoric (IoR) offered a different approach to documenting North Korea, merging established news media practices with more contemporary ones, drawing particular attention to social media.

“While researching an article about an Instagram account claiming to be the official outlet of North Korean news, I started to think about the visual representation of North Korea.

The idea of the project became a reflection on our engagement with modern media techniques, our consumption of images and our knowledge of this ‘most closed off country in the world’ that is the DPRK, all this interwoven with the notion of democratized propaganda.”

Chris Barrett, photographer and curator

By reinterpreting images that already exist in the public domain, Icons of Rhetoric played on an aesthetic of authenticity.

Read more about the Icons of Rhetoric research project.

Follow #IconsofRhetoric on social media:

@KazakhPilot (Gianluca Spezza)

Exhibition Resources

From our blog

This months Frieze magazine features a great article by Jonathan P.Watts (NTU Lecturer, writer, critic) examining how gentrification in London is impacting upon the lives of artists who live and worth there. The article uses Nottingham (& Norwich’s) burgeoning artist-led communities as examples of how critically engaged and sustainable practices can establish themselves away from ‘major’ cities. The article uses several specific examples including The Midland Group, Stand Assembly (now One Thoresby Street), PrimaryTG & Tyson, and the ever vital Outpost Gallery in Norwich.

This article accompanies a recent Frieze commissioned film of the same title that can be watched here.

You can keep updated and get an overview of artistic activity in the city via the Nottingham Art Map.